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waderman1

Freshwater Boat Recommendations - electric motor

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Need some help as I'm not familiar with freshwater boats.  We want to start boating on lakes that only allow electric motors.  I need recommendations according to my needs:

 

I might be crazy for my requests...however I need:

 

a)  6 person capacity - 2 adults and 4 kids (3-8 years old)

b)  activities include fishing and joyriding

b)  electric motor - most lakes in monmouth county NJ are electric motor only

c)  trailer

 

I am looking for a place to start my research and could use some names, models, etc..

 

Thank you in advance!

 

 

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1648 Jon Boat , Minn Kota Maxxum 80lb Thrust transom Mount Trolling Motor , (2) size 29 Deep Cycle MArine Batteries., (1) used depth finder off craigslist (color! Kids love it)  Galvanized Trailer.  Life Jackets and some spincasting rods and your good to go!

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Thats a pretty tall order for a boat to be propelled with just a electric motor considering 6 person capacity plus gear, lunch, etc. The above recommendation would work but I think the batteries would be depleted fairly quickly especially on a windy day.

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I have a 70# Maxxum on a 1448, fully decked with a 3 marine batteries, a 210lb, 25hp on the back, 2 full sized (200+#) men and all of the bass gear two guys could own.  The maxxum will run all day on lakes that prohibit the use of a gas engine.  That's why I recommended it.

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I also have a 14x48 with 70 maxxum bow mount that i use for fishing and agree it has plenty of power. The recommendation was for a 16' boat and 6 people ( I know some r children) and recreational use meaning more steady riding and perhaps pulling tube. Not trying to argue but i still think it would not be a overall practical solution

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Posted (edited) · Report post

The brand of the boat isn't that important. Size , profile and weight are. Aluminum will be your friend here . Something like a bass boat or jon boat style in 15-18' would work IF your lakes arn't to rough.These style of boats have low sides so wind goves over the top vs push you around.  They tend to be wide which makes them stable for kids, 

Couple of  thoughts on battery limits /usage ( which is the achilies heal of electric drive systems.).

1) You'll want a 24V motor ( with 2, series 27/29 batteries)  minimum. 36V (with 3 batteries) is cobsiderably better.

2)You want a motor with variable speed. This feature brings along other circutry that saves battery drain BIGTIME .

3)It's ALLOT more efficient to pull a boat that to push it. Bow mount electric motors will save you battery as well.  

4) Electric "trolling" motors are designed to move you SLOW. 5 MPH is moving on even a big electric.  ( And running the motor at high end  for extended periodss to get that will drain your batteries quickly.  Once their voltage starts to drop they drain even more quickly....  So, if the family needs speed, or wants to go tubing, get a gas powered boat for a different lake.

hth

Edited by WeeHooker

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14 hours ago, WeeHooker said:

The brand of the boat isn't that important. Size , profile and weight are. Aluminum will be your friend here . Something like a bass boat or jon boat style in 15-18' would work IF your lakes arn't to rough.These style of boats have low sides so wind goves over the top vs push you around.  They tend to be wide which makes them stable for kids, 

Couple of  thoughts on battery limits /usage ( which is the achilies heal of electric drive systems.).

1) You'll want a 24V motor ( with 2, series 27/29 batteries)  minimum. 36V (with 3 batteries) is cobsiderably better.

2)You want a motor with variable speed. This feature brings along other circutry that saves battery drain BIGTIME .

3)It's ALLOT more efficient to pull a boat that to push it. Bow mount electric motors will save you battery as well.  

4) Electric "trolling" motors are designed to move you SLOW. 5 MPH is moving on even a big electric.  ( And running the motor at high end  for extended periodss to get that will drain your batteries quickly.  Once their voltage starts to drop they drain even more quickly....  So, if the family needs speed, or wants to go tubing, get a gas powered boat for a different lake.

hth

#1 If you go with a 36 vt system, it will eliminates one kid from the mix with the added weight.  When you take a bunch of kids out fishing freeboard is your best friend!  Don't ask how I know that!

 

#2 - absolutely a maximizer does just that and almost doubles usage time!  Great point!

 

#3 - Yes it is BUT If you are taking the family and kids out fishing you want them in front of you.  Bow mount is great when they get older, but up to about 8 you want to see whats happening!

 

#4 - YES   You can do everything you want, add batteries, special props, etc. you are getting no more tha 4-5MPH.  Sorry no tubing!  A 100 pound thrust electric is made to move a 3000 pound bass rig not faster but more efficiently in wind so there is battery power left after fighting the wind all day. 

 

Great points Wee Hooker.

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Thank you very much for the information - I did not know there were so many factors involved.

 

The lakes are fairly small so we would not be tubing - we are mainly using the boat for fishing.

 

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As long as you stay at max displacement speed, or less you need little power to move a vessel though the water, after all you, or I could move a ship as large as an icebreaker by ourselves with little effort. The longer and more narrow boat, that still gives you the stability you need is the way to go, if you can. Longer boats are faster at displacement speed, all things being equal. Max displacement speed, in general terms, can be found by taking the square root of the hull length at the waterline. So a vessel 16 ft. at the waterline would have a max. displacement speed of around 4kts., 4.8 mph. After that it takes exponential amounts of energy to go faster than hull speed. Since most fishing speeds are below hull speed this is not where you use the most energy, trying to hurry across the lake is where you'll burn up your batteries.

A friend of mine has a standard windshield fiberglass 14 ft.runabout he uses in electric only lakes up to 5 miles long. 4 batteries, two 12 volt transom trolling motors give him all the power he has ever needed.

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Brand names of aluminum boats:

Lowe

tracker

alumacraft

lund

crestiner

 

They all over jon boats and I wouldn't go below a 15ft boat based on your specs. Also if you do decide to deck out your boat with casting decks get that done with aluminum as that will save you weight. When locating you batteries in the boat keep them centered in the boat or equal distance apart so that your boat is balanced and not leaning. I too would go with a bow mount trolling motor no less than a 48volt but 36 is better if you can afford it.

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A boat with only a bow mount motor has no control of the boat, only control of where the bow is, the rest of the boat is swinging all over the place, you have to have a transom mounted trolling motor for best overall control. Building a rudder system to mount on the stern to control that end of the boat while you use a bow mount works better, but for me family social interaction, stability from family movement and rough housing, pets, etc. all point toward a transom mount, a lot, or even a bit of extra weight shifting to the bow does not incur safety in rough water, wakes, etc.

Boats are simply built to take weight in the stern, not the bow.

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